Ofsted: Trust has ‘restored faith’ in Somercotes school

Somercotes Academy senior staff and students celebrate their 'Good' rating by Ofsted. (Picture: Sean Spencer).
Somercotes Academy senior staff and students celebrate their 'Good' rating by Ofsted. (Picture: Sean Spencer).

The intervention of Tollbar Multi Academy Trust has ‘restored faith’ in a local school, says Ofsted, after rating Somercotes Academy as ‘Good’ just three years after it joined the Trust.

The previous school (Birkbeck Community School and Arts College) was rated ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted in 2014, and was re-opened by the Trust as Somercotes Academy in November 2015.

The first Ofsted inspection of the new Academy took place last month, with the results published this week.

The report says the determined, positive and effective leadership of the Trust, the quality of teaching, the behaviour of pupils, and the positive ethos and culture of the school have led to a swift rise in the number of pupils.

Inspectors said the investment from the Trust has been “instrumental in improving the school environment, the security of the site and the recruitment of high-quality staff.”

The report continues: “Rapid improvements in the quality of teaching and learning and the effectiveness of pastoral care at the school have restored the faith of parents within the rural community. As a consequence, the number of pupils attending the school is rising quickly.

The school’s leadership - in particular, the recently appointed Principal, Frances Green - was praised extensively in Ofsted’s report, as was the ‘core set of values’ and the ‘positive morale’ within the school community.

Responding to the report, David Hampson, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: “When I addressed the parents/carers immediately after the school joined the Trust, I promised them I would ensure that the new Somercotes Academy would be a good school for their children. I am overjoyed this has now been delivered in such a short time.

“Over the three years since the inception of the new Academy, the Trust has made a significant annual financial investment, refurbished buildings, introduced new teaching resources, appointed quality staff and overseen an ongoing staff training programme.

“This report demonstrates the effectiveness of our model, at raising the quality of teaching and learning as well as the aspirations and life opportunities for students.

“Somercotes Academy students now have an educational establishment that they, their parents and the community can be proud of.”

Trust Chairman Philip Bond added: “The report stands as a tribute to the hard work of staff and students.

“Inspectors comment that much of the success of the Academy is down to the contributions of Tollbar Multi Academy Trust.

“As Chair, I am proud of the progress made in such a short time.”

Lincolnshire County Councillor Mrs Patricia Bradwell, Executive Councillor for Children’s Services, said: “I’m delighted that Somercotes Academy is now rated ‘Good’.

“Tollbar Trust have made great strides in turning things round with the support of all associated with the school.

“Ofsted have confirmed the significant progress that has been made and parents can be confident that Somercotes Academy will provide good quality education for their children.”